mTOR-inhibiting pharmacotherapy for the treatment of non-infectious uveitis: a systematic review protocol

Joshua Blair, Robert Barry, Philip Murray, David Moore, Alastair Denniston

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Background: Non-infectious uveitis represents a sub-type of intraocular inflammation often associated with disorders of immune dysregulation. Untreated, the intraocular inflammation may progress to severe visual impairment and blindness. Current treatment is heavily reliant on systemic corticosteroid, often at doses associated with severe side effects. There is a need for efficacious corticosteroid-sparing immunomodulatory therapy for these patients. Current immunomodulators include various immunosuppressants and biologics but mTOR inhibitors (such as sirolimus and everolimus) may also be contenders for this role.

The systematic review proposed here will evaluate the evidence for the use of sirolimus and everolimus in the context of non-infectious uveitis.

Method/Design: Standard systematic review methodology will be used to identify, select and extract data from any comparative or non-comparative study of mTOR inhibitors in patients with non-infectious uveitis excluding case-reports. Searches of bibliographic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library and CINAHL) and clinical trials registers will be performed, with no restriction on language or date of publication. Translation of non-English language articles will be undertaken where necessary.

The primary outcome of interest will be uveitis activity as measured by vitreous haze. Secondary outcomes will include other pre-specified measures of uveitis activity (such as anterior chamber cells or central macular thickness) best corrected visual acuity, heath-related quality of life, requirement for concurrent treatment, and adverse events.

Risk of bias assessment will be performed appropriate to each study design. Study selection, data extraction and risk of bias assessment will be undertaken by two reviewers independently. Data will be grouped, tabulated and narratively synthesised. Meta-analysis will be undertaken where appropriate clinical and methodological homogeneity exists. The review will be published according to PRISMA guidance.

Discussion: Studies of various designs have investigated the clinical use of mTOR inhibitors for non-infectious uveitis, and a large international randomised controlled trail of sirolimus for non-infectious uveitis is due to report. The findings of this systematic review will help inform ophthalmologists and aid the improvement of treatment protocols for non-infectious uveitis with regard to the use of mTOR inhibitors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number83
Number of pages6
JournalSystematic Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2018


  • uveitis
  • mTOR inhibitors
  • mammalian target of rapamycin
  • immunosuppression
  • systematic review


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